Sexist and feminist storytelling
by look i have opinions
Okay, I have some opinions to unload:
- There’s no such thing as a sexist character or a feminist character. There are only sexist and feminist narratives.
- Too much criticism in this vein tends to focus on character traits, even when the narrative in question is plot-driven. The fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” might be a sexist narrative (no opinion on that), but criticizing Beauty as a passive character would be missing the point, as well as carrying overtones of victim blaming.
- By the same token, there’s no point in trying to mitigate a narrative’s sexism by “empowering” the female characters rather than changing their roles. No amount of character development (or superpowers) can improve a character whose only role is to be a victim, a MacGuffin, a cheap shot, or a stock type.
- A feminist narrative doesn’t have to be about female characters being badasses or role models or feminists. It helps if some are, but it’s not required.
- Feminism is not about women being strong. It’s not about women being good. It’s about women being people.